Gary (Ind.) West Side junior athlete Lonnie Johnson has been intrigued with Ohio State since he worked alongside the Buckeye's 2013 cornerback commit Cameron Burrows at last April's Rivals.com/VTO Camp in Cincinnati. On Friday, Johnson received an opportunity to join Burrows in Columbus when the Buckeyes extended him a scholarship offer.
"This morning my uncle [West Side head coach Jason Johnson] had gotten the call and they told him," Johnson said. "He called me around 7:00 and I was half asleep. When he told me I woke right up.
"I am going to go celebrate later on and get some steak to celebrate with my uncle and my family. This is like a dream come true."
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Johnson's interest in Ohio State was furthered last month when he was able to attend the Buckeye's rivalry game against Michigan in Columbus.
"The school has swagger and the team welcomed me in like I was actually on the team," Johnson said. "I got to chat with Braxton [Miller] and he was cool. I just liked everything about O-State. The fast-paced offense - I love that about O-State."
The 6-foot-2, 180-pound Johnson excels on both sides of the football at defensive back and wide receiver. His offer for Ohio State is for the wide receiver position.
Johnson picked up his first scholarship offer back in June from Bowling Green. Cincinnati, Indiana, Purdue, Nebraska, Vanderbilt, Duke and UCLA are some other schools that have shown interest.
"A new school just jumped on the boat and came to the school - the University of Illinois. They came to the school two days ago and the coach that came up was Mike Ward.
With the offer from Ohio State in hand the Buckeyes will be tough to beat for Johnson's services, but a few other schools could give them a challenge if offers came through.
"Right now, Ohio State, that's the one," Johnson said. "If I get an offer from Notre Dame, they will have a chance. I am trying to get my uncle to get in contact with Florida State because I really like Florida State. If Oregon comes out of nowhere, then [they'll be in the mix]."